Swimming in a sea of sounds

Posted on: 7th April, 2014

Category: Music

Contributor: Kate Brennan Harding

Every day I filter through music, trying to find the latest beat and the future hits. I utilise my social media accounts to see what people are listening to, as well as radio. It’s exciting swimming in a sea of sounds — allowing one beat to take me on a trail that can lead to a few hours spent quite literally ‘lost in music’.

I am of the generation that bought records, cds and tapes. I used to spend hours in music shops as a teenager; tapes were my ‘thing’! In fact when CD’s were launched, I insisted on still buying tapes, as it made my collection look prettier.

I love having music at my fingertips. But despite this, I miss the excitement of a new album release. I miss the physicality of holding it and the patience required to get the plastic wrapping off before scrambling to press play. I miss scouring the sleeve’s artwork, lyrics and funny secrets. Music was a prize possession —taking pride of place in living rooms and teenage bedrooms.

Now, its only reference is a docking station or a hard-drive. There is a loss of beauty in the industry with everything being downloaded and streamed. Yes the artwork is still visible but only on a screen.  The other problem is that it is truly hard to wade through the amount of awful generic music that is like a deluge every day in our charts.

So it is with great delight that we welcome a new music shop to West Cork. Hunky Dory has opened its musical doors in Spiller’s Lane and is a well-stocked treasure trove for music lovers. It will have an official opening on World Record Day – April 19.

Mark Holland is the shop owner and I met with him to talk – shop!  He explains that while coming back from Electric Picnic with the sounds still in his head, he was frustrated that there wasn’t somewhere to buy music. The large record shops had closed down or were only stocking chart sellers.  Mark comments “there are many reasons why it is important for me that Clonakilty and West Cork has a good music shop, the primary one is my own personal indulgence, and since opening the shop I have been able to find albums that have eluded me for years, a facility we are glad to provide for customers if we can.”

The shop has a lovely energy to it — selling music in every respect. Upstairs has a well researched selection of instruments. Hunky Dory carries Faith, Hofner and Sigma guitars. Downstairs there is a selection of Vinyl that makes me want to put a record player on the ground and have a sit in, surrounded by sound.

Mark says, “as a ‘music centre’ we hope to offer an environment that allows people to indulge all of their musical aspirations. Often a person needs to hold or strum an instrument to know that it is for them. I personally wanted an acoustic guitar until I handled an electric and fell in love with the neat way it slipped into my arms!”

The selection of music is well chosen, with most tastes catered for. It is a shop that is more than a shop. It is a space that offers the chance to browse and talk about music. From Talking Heads to Yello, Arcade fire to Neil Young, there is something for the discerning music palate. If you have been craving an opportunity to find new treasure, then Hunky Dory is the place to find it.

What has come as a surprise to Mark and the team at Hunky Dory is the amount of Ukuleles that are walking out the door. I blame the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra! With a selection of amps, drum skins, strings, Hunky Dory serves West Cork musicians well too.

Hunky Dory opens from Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30am to 17.30pm.

I have only two brief but highly important recommendations this month — April 10, Julie Feeney in De Barras. Go and see what musical genius looks like. April 11 in De Barras, Dublin band GANGS is playing. Tipped as this year’s hottest emerging Talent from Hot Press. Go see this Mod outfit while you still can in such an intimate venue.

Lastly, I predicted wildly about Electric Picnic this year in last month’s column. I am delighted with the announcements of Beck and Chic so far – still holding out for Bowie, Albarn and perhaps The Black Keys!

Enjoy April, visit Hunky Dory, practice makes perfect and music is the answer!

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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